China regrets Security Council failure to defer ICC trials

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — China on Friday voiced its regret at the failure of Security Council to adopt a draft resolution on deferring the International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings against Kenyan leaders.
Liu Jieyi, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks after a vote on the draft resolution co- sponsored by African countries.
In the vote at the 15-member council, seven members, including Russia and China, supported the draft resolution, while the eight others, including Britain, France and the United States, abstained.
“Deferring ICC proceedings against Kenyan leaders is not only the concern of Kenya, but also the concern of all African countries,” Liu said. “It is indeed an urgent need dictated by the interest of maintaining regional peace and stability.”
He commended Kenya for its steady efforts to reform judicial system, promote national reconciliation, peacefully resolve ethnic conflicts and gradually restore stability and development.
“Kenya has long been standing at the forefront of the fight against terrorism, and has been playing an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the horn of Africa, eastern Africa and the whole African continent at large,” he said.
Therefore, the envoy said, the international community should work to ensure that Kenyan leaders can concentrate on discharging their constitutional duties, including playing a very constructive role in maintaining peace and security in the country and the region at large.
“The international judicial institutions in exercising their jurisdiction should abide by the norms of the international relations, follow the principles of complementarity, and respect the judicial sovereignty, legal traditions and practical needs of the countries concerned,” he noted.
China believes the request of African countries is reasonable and well-grounded, Liu said, who stressed that on issues concerning Africa’s peace, security and stability, the African countries know their needs better than anyone else.
“What they want to achieve is to maintain peace, stability and security of the region, and to effectively fight terrorism,” he said. “What they’ve been asking for is that the populace-elected leaders of Kenya be accorded the most basic respect.”
Reiterating Beijing’s support to the efforts of Kenya, African Union and the African countries in pursuing a proper solution to the matters concerned, the Chinese ambassador said “the council should carefully heed and positively respond to the joint call by the African Union and African countries.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, face the ICC trial for their alleged roles in murders, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and persecution during Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence. Both have denied the charges.
On Oct. 31, the ICC postponed the trial of Kenyatta to Feb. 5, 2014. However, African countries have called for the ICC proceedings against the Kenyan leaders to be deferred for one year.-xinhuanet

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